KINDLY permit me a space in your newspaper to express my dissatisfaction with the school standards set in Saint Lucia. Principals and other members of staff are always eager to boast that their school is ‘the best on the island’. This statement never fails to amaze me! Do they realize that even the regulations in those schools are ridiculous? Why do students pay for their meals while prisoners get to eat for free? Ms Editor, it is public knowledge that inmates are provided food on government instructions, so why isn’t it a necessity that school children are supplied food by government orders also? What are our taxes really going towards? Do we prefer to feed murderers and thieves before innocent children? Wouldn’t it be better if students are given a meal of their choice without worrying about how they could afford it? They did not create the poverty that they were born into. So, Ms Editor, why should they suffer while the prisoners who chose their paths are provided meals, free of this struggle? Do you understand why this makes me mad Ms Editor?
Why do students have to come to school starving, as a result of poverty while criminals are guaranteed to eat three times a day? Yet, stakeholders boast that theirs is the school of choice when students are unable to focus because of hunger.
Secondly, the decline in good behaviour cannot go unnoticed. School is no longer a place for learning. It is a place to shout the latest song lyrics unconcerned with anyone else. It is a place to show off the latest Spray ground bag and Air Max. Have schools become a place to gallivant? Has it become the new block for limers? When was the last time you saw a teacher stop to address a uniform infraction? Is discipline not part of their job description? Has a new law been passed to ban all forms of disciplinary measures? Are we ready, Ms Editor, for our classmates or even our troublesome cousins to become the next person to be charged with homicide? Roger Moore, a very successful actor, once said ‘Teach love, generosity, good manners and some of that will drift from the classroom to the home and who knows, the children will be educating the parents.’ Behaving well can lead students on a more successful path. If students are going to spend a large sum of their childhood at school, they might as well learn good behaviour and practice it there also. Or has school become the breeding ground for a new group of limers and criminals?
Lastly, we learn many things at school but the most important thing – how to learn! Lessons on important skills like time management, how to stay on top of homework and study techniques are overlooked. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines ‘school’ as ‘an organization that provides instruction such as an institution for the teaching of children, a college or university’. If we go to school to be taught, why aren’t we taught the most effective ways to thoroughly understand a topic? Why aren’t we taught how to manage time so we can learn and accomplish all the things needed to do well at school? Many students struggle with completing homework and especially with studying. “It is somewhat shocking how many students just don’t know how to do it, which frustrates them and can turn them off to enjoying learning,” says Henry Roediger III, a professor of psychology and brain science at Washington University in St Louis and co-author of the book “Make It Stick.” “It’s something that needs to be taught in third or fourth grade and reinforced throughout their school years.” If it will take us hours of practice and studying to do well on exams, why not teach us how to?
To conclude, schools should have more definite and better laid out standards and also value each child’s health, behaviour and education more. It is at school we spend a great deal of our lives. Therefore, it should be a place we can learn, grow and feel good at. School stakeholders should control the activities carried out there. If schools become a better place, the children attending them will grow to be better also.
(A Concerned Student)